Medical Crowdfunding

The high cost of medical care, especially for those suffering from serious illnesses, can have a devastating effect on U.S. families. In an effort to help individuals raise money for their medical care, Healthline has partnered with FundRazr to launch a new crowdfunding feature on Heathline.com.

“Healthline is about guiding patients to better health, and our new crowdfunding feature, powered by FundRazr, helps address the pain many Americans face around often crushing medical expenses,” said David Kopp, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Heathline Media. “Our ability to bring medical crowdfunding to millions of people enables Americans to help give the gift of improved health and reduced stress to their loved ones.”

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Crowdfunding and Medical Debt

The crowdfunding model takes inspiration from hugely successful sites like Kickstarter, where exciting projects in the world of technology and the arts—from the Pebble E-Paper Watch to the upcoming Veronica Mars movie—become a reality. By adapting this strategy to individual healthcare needs, Healthline.com visitors can start their own campaigns for loved ones in need of financial assistance to cover medical expenses.

A study conducted in 2010 found that 30 million Americans had medical bills in collection, which was a significant increase from the 22 million in medical debt in 2005. Medical expenses are the primary cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.

FundRazr, a Vancouver-based company, has raised more than $40 million in 20 countries since 2010, and more than $20 million has gone to medical crowdfunding.

Sara Wysuph, a resident of Santa Cruz, Calif., saw an overwhelming outpouring of support when she began the Jason Jones Medical Fund campaign on Healthline, which raised more than $31,000 for her brother-in-law, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2013.

"We exceeded our goal and our expectations," Wysuph said. "This is assurance that he will not go through this harrowing experience only to be drowned in debt."

Using Social Media to Promote Your Campaign

One of the biggest draws of online crowdsourcing is the ease with which people can share their campaigns via email and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“Online fundraising for medical needs allows individuals to quickly generate much needed funding by tapping into their social networks,” said Tracy Rosecrans, Director of Marketing for Healthline.com. “Compelling campaigns have the potential to go viral as friends and family share with their existing networks.”

And campaigners can take advantage of Healthline's vibrant online community, too. “In starting a campaign on Healthline.com, individuals will have access to over 12 million health-information seekers,” explained Rosecrans. “In addition, the Healthline team will support your campaign efforts by sharing your campaign with over 200,000 followers across various social networks.”

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If you’ve decided to start your own campaign but are stuck wondering what makes for a successful one, Rosecrans offers these tips:

  • Tell a compelling story by explaining why this campaign is important to you and how users can make a difference by donating.
  • Provide frequent updates on the status of the campaign to keep your social networks up-to-date.
  • Be sure to thank everyone who donates. A little bit can go a long way toward helping a person in need.